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High-risk mortgages climb 23%

Figures published by Lendy found that 71,273 high-risk mortgages were taken out in the UK last year, up 23% from the 57,782 agreed in 2011.

Despite national figures rocketing, the most recent data found that Scotland had taken out only 2% more risky mortgages as of 31st December 2015 (1,466) than it had in 2011 (1,443).

“Scotland’s homebuyers have recognised the dangers of risky borrowing,” said Liam Brooke, co-founder of Lendy.

“It’s almost stereotyping to say that the Scottish have a reputation for prudent finances, but these figures show that homebuyers north of the border are significantly less likely to overstretch themselves when taking out a mortgage.

“Housing shortages mean that homebuyers in the UK as a whole, however, are getting more and more overstretched every year.”

According to the Bank of England, high-risk mortgages are those lent at 4.5 times or more than salary.

Glasgow, Kirkaldy and Falkirk witnessed particularly marked improvements, with the number of risky mortgages falling 13%, 30% and 51% respectively over the period.

By contrast, south-east London faced a 105% surge in risky mortgages, driven in part by residents over-extending themselves to keep up with rising house prices.

Lendy attributed Scotland’s prudence to sensible financial planning and a slowdown in the oil industry having made people more careful about their financial commitments.

The lender also cited concerns that banks are becoming less willing to lend to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Belfast saw the largest cut (57%) in the number of high-risk mortgages taken out since 2011.

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